Speed Reads

Astroworld Tragedy

Travis Scott and Astroworld festival promoter Live Nation both have checkered safety histories, records show

The deadly crush that killed eight people and injured more than 300 others during Travis Scott's set at Friday night's Astroworld festival in Houston isn't the first tragedy to strike a large concert. Nor is it the first fatal incident for Live Nation Entertainment, the festival's promoter and world's largest live events company, the Houston Chronicle reports, citing a review citing court records. 

Some of the more than 200 deaths and 750 injuries at Live Nation events over the past 15 years were acts of murder and terrorism — the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, and the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, both in 2017 — but other cases were workplace accidents. Seven people were killed and 61 injured when a stage collapsed in Indiana in 2011, for example. NPR uncovered numerous Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations against Live Nation.

Live Nation said Monday it will "continue to support and assist local authorities in their ongoing investigation so that both the fans who attended and their families can get the answers they want and deserve, and we will address all legal matters at the appropriate time."

Scott's 2019 Astroworld festival also saw three people injured in a stampede to get into the venue, NRG Park. Houston law enforcement says Friday's crowd at NRG Park, capped at 50,000, rushed the stage, leading to a "mass casualty event" that lasted 40 minutes. The incident is the subject of a criminal investigation and at least 12 lawsuits. Since the Houston police and fire departments were deeply involved in the safety measures and permitting for the festival, some officials are calling for an independent investigation, The Associated Press reports

Scott's electric and chaotic performance style, in which he often encourages fans to "rage" and rush past security to the stage, is also under scrutiny after Friday's tragedy, The New York Times reports

At the 2015 Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, for example, Scott's set was shut down after five minutes amid a stampede in which a 15-year-old girl was injured. Scott had told fans to rush the barricades and chant 'We want rage,' and he later pleaded guilty to reckless conduct, the Times reports. He was arrested again and fined $7,465 for inciting a riot after a 2017 Arkansas show where he urged fans to evade security and rush the stage.